Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cruisers, Pickups, Cadillac, Knight, Creature, Skycrane And Missile

Revell/Monogram kicks it up a notch this month with a huge selection of new releases from several different genres.
For the Classic Cruiser fan Monogram has a set of 1930's Fords that are sure to thrill your nostalgic heart.  The '37 Ford Sedan is sculpted in 1:24 Scale and requires a Level 2 modeling skill: paint and glue.
Packed with chrome from its curved grill to its wheels, fenders and trim, this baby blue bundle of horsepower also comes with muted blue flame decals, full interior details and front hood that opens to reveal a classic V-8 Ford motor.
The '32 Ford Street Rod is painted a deep aqua color with yellow and red side flame decals.  Like the Sedan it's brimming with chrome, has a hood that opens to reveal a stock V-8 engine, bar-mounted front headlights and a two-passenger interior dressed out in light brown leather.  Look for an old style chrome trimmed windshield with clip side windows, bumper flame decals, oversize chrome wheels and flat extended front and rear bumpers. It also requires a Level 2 modeling skill.
The Ford F-250 Super Duty Pickup with its extended cab, 7.5 liter V-8 engine and heavy duty frame is a favorite among truck lovers.  This workhorse of truck is solid muscle that makes it perfect for hauling heavy loads, tackling rough terrain and hitting the back roads for some good old boy country fun.  Two-tone white and tan with four roller bar lights, heavy suspension, thick bumpers and oversize side mirrors makes this a favorite with truckers hauling loads, third wheels or extra passengers.  Go Ford tough!
GMC's solid black Syclone Pickup is the truck that pleases both the diehard utility driver or the driver that likes to show off his wheels.  With its black bumpers, huge chromed out engine, covered bed, designer chrome wheels and strategic red grill and side lettering this pickup picks up loads, friends and the occasional date.  Now that's pickup line!
All fin and chrome the '57 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a sleek aerodynamic luxury car that's stylish, stunning and a classic.  Painted black or deep blue, this four wheel wonder makes the perfect ride to the opera, dinner show or out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.  Two figures come with the car, dressed in 1950's elegance. 
The Red Knight In Vienna from Monogram comes in solid red armor with removable helmet, a candy-striped lance, gold head crest, chest jousting protector and rectangular base.  Think of it as a 15th century Iron Man.
One of the all-time classic movie monsters of all time, the Creature From The Black Lagoon is still as visually stunning as it was over 60 years ago.
The Gill Man is posed with arms outstretch and stands on a Lagoon base complete with reptilian friends: a lizard and snake.  Be sure to check out the incredible detailing of the face, body scales, clawed hands and feet and base.  This model requires Level 3 modeling skill and is best done by those 12 years and older.
There's helicopters and then there's helicopters!  The Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane has a rotor span of 72 feet, can carry 10 tons and performs multi-transport tasks such as laying pipelines and transporting mobile housing units.
Customize your CH-54A using its three figures, mobile pod and howitzer. Detailed engines, full exterior and interior details accurately duplicate the huge craft.  It's a monster of a helicopter with tons of intricate details, and army issue paint scheme and removable units that will please any military buff.
Get fired up with Revell's Corporal Missile With Transporter.  Six figures come with the missile: three standing, two driving and one at a mobile radar and control panel.  The Transporter cabin opens and closes, operating pistons move the huge leg braces, real gears elevate the missile launch pad and arms, legs and pads all move and pivot.  This baby is loaded for bear with heavy duty armor, a four wheel mounted Transporter chassis and a detachable mobile radar platform.  Lock and load this 1:40 Scale weapon of mass destruction. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spyder, CSL, T-Modell And V10

Schuco’s presents a quartet of Edition 1:43 Scale diecast automobiles that redefine precision engineering, detail, paint and decal application in the diecast arena.
Everyone loves a convertible and there's a lot to love with Schuco's Audi RB Spyder  ragtop.  This compact beauty is all car with its hug-the-road design, custom wheels and side air-scoops.  Integrated lights and signals make the profile of the car smooth and uninterrupted by any protrusions,  The only thing extending out form the car are the side mirror and those and solid streamline.  Interior details include a deep red pair of body-contouring bucket seats, a wraparound instrument panel and interior side panels and seat backs.  I especially like the rear body details, specifically the pop-up storage panel for the car's roof.
The BMW 3.0 CSL is a yellow two-door sedan with more than its fair share of surprises.  Check out the rood scoop and rear fin scoop. Slightly wedge-shaped, the CSL has a slight aerodynamic look provided by the slanted grill, side body trim, low profile and rounded windshield and rear window.  The black interior seats four comfortably.
The jet black Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse T-Modell station wagon smashes all perceptions that station wagons can't be sexy.  Its slightly tilted forward design, curved body exterior and clever use of side-trim and integrated lights and signals make this car appear as if it is moving while standing still.  White interior seats and dash give the car a welcome black and white contrast that magnifies its unique look.  Large chrome wheels, roof, luggage tie-downs and large windows for sight-seeing while touring make this a family car with punch!
The Audi R8 V10 Safety Car shows off its rear mounted engine through its rear window.  The silver bullet is all muscle as evident by its wraparound body design, integrated signals and lights, oversize tires and wheels, slightly protruding wheel-wells and backward slanted roof lights.  The R8 is a perfect example of Schuco's talent for decal and paint application.  Decals are sharp on easily distinguishable, paint application is clean and crisp with no bleed-over and interior and exterior details are superior in every way. 
What's not to like about Schuco diecast vehicles?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WWE SLAM ATTAX

Topps Trading Cards new WWE SLAM ATTAK wrestling trading card set is filled with just as much excitement as the sport its representing.
Packed 24 Foil Packs per Box with eight Cards per Pack the Card Set features some dazzling art, photos and visual excitement.
Key wrestlers are spotlighted on Cards and are broken down in categories.  Here’s my Box breakdown:
Raw Superstars (I got 51!)
Smackdown Superstars (45 this round)
ECW Superstars (make that 23)
Tag teams (6 count)
WWE Legends (28 old-timers)
Match Types (6 cards)
Pay Per View (14)
Inserts:
Champions (5)
Finishing Moves (5)
Titles (3)
Props (6)
Included with each Pack are a Checklist and Game Rules.  That’s right, this is more than just a trading card collection, and it’s also a game that pits wrestlers against wrestlers in a no-holds-barred Smackdown with the ultimate prize going to whoever survives!  Get ready to rumble!
Cool Cards, awesome graphics and photos and a trading card game-who could ask for more!?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Ultimates #1

To say I'm a fan of Frank Cho's artwork is a huge understatement.  I love his ability to make super beings appear real and pulsing with movement even when they are standing still.  He is the 'ultimate' good-girl artist (as evident by his self-published Liberty Meadows) and he never fails to deliver powerful and action-packed stories.
His page layouts, character designs and the ability to translate to the page emotion in his characters is second to none.
Writer Jeph Loeb brings back The Ultimates after the disastrous events in the previous Ultimates titles.  Iron-Man and Hawkeye, despite their personal losses, begin the process only to be surprised by the arrival of The Defenders consisting of the now super-powered Power Man, Son Of Satan, Nighthawk, Hellcat and Black Knight.
Things look pretty grim until Captain America, Zarda and Thor's young female associate Barbara arrive and turn the tide but not before the Son Of Satan snatches Thor's hammer and The Defenders teleport away.
Meanwhile Thor, trapped in Valhalla, makes a deal with Hela, Mistress Of The Damned, in order to return to Earth.
Kazar, Shanna and The Black Panther strolls the streets of New York and Tony Stark and Carol Danvers argue about who runs the Ultimates and get up close and personal.  Then Loki arrives with his army of Trolls looking for revenge.  And that's just the first issue!
A sneak peek at the new Electric Ant based on Philip K. Dick's sci-fi masterpiece, and a huge fold-out cover poster from Frank Cho makes the New Ultimates #1 from Marvel Comics a must-have for any comic book fan.

Firefly Rain

As a young boy growing up in the small town of Maryfield, North Carolina, Jacob Logan was anxious to move away and start a life of his own.  Small town life was not for him and after leaving for college, graduating and setting up his own successfully business his visits home were few and far between.
His life suddenly took a sour turn when his business failed, his personal life was in a shambles and everything seemed fruitless.
Reluctantly he moves back to Maryfield and takes up residence in his childhood home.  Both of his parents had died and are buried on the property.
Jacob hopes his trip home will let him catch his breath and bearings before he decides which direction his life should go.
His old homestead seems to be the perfect setting:  It’s quiet and peaceful and just the place to reflect and regroup.
But when a series of mysterious incidents pile on top of another: lost belongings, stolen car, etc., and no one hears or sees a thing-or do they?
The townspeople seem unusually distant, his ground caretaker, Carl, seems too good to be true and the fireflies…they die whenever they approach Jacob’s home. 
Then there’s the sounds at night, creaking, creepy sounds and the unnerving feeling that he’s being watched-but by who or what?
Something wants him home and refuses to let him leave-but what and why?  Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky, published by Gallery Books, it's a horrific page turner that never lets up. Coming home has never been so scary. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Looking Back At 2009

Merchandizing tie-ins has proven especially profitable for Hasbro Toys-especially movie merchandizing.  2009 proved a banner year for Hasbro Toys with the release of the new Transformers, G.I. Joe and Wolverine films.  Earlier movie tie-ins like Iron Man, Star Wars, Spider-Man, the Hulk and Marvel Comics see toy shelves filled with Hasbro Toys.
Despite the first Star Wars movie being made over 30 years ago, the franchise proves as popular today as ever.  Star Wars toys from all of the films and the Clone Wars continue to line shelves and are eagerly snatched up by fans.
In 2009 Hasbro Toys released its Star Wars Legacy Collection featuring figures taken from the first Trilogy.  Each 3 1/2 inch figure comes with an additional Droid part that when collected with other allowed collectors to assemble their own custom Droid.
Some of the figures included are Utai with staff, Cody with rifle, helmet and Emperor hologram, Colton with pistol and headpiece, Bacara with rifle and utility belt, Agen Kolar with Jedi Lightsaber, IG-88 with twin blasters and Plo Koon single and twin Lightsabers.  All of the figures are nicely scaled and sculpted, features tight paint application, hold their weapons and accessories firmly and boast multiple articulation points,  All of the figures stand easily on their own.  All come in full-front bubble packs with full stats on the back of each card.  Hasbro notched up the quality on these figures in every area.
G.I. Joe made its way to the movie screen and proved a big hit.  For the younger fan comes the Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Tough Troopers figure sculpted in a more 'cartoon' style.  With oversize hands and feet, bulky arms, a large chest and overemphasized arm gauntlets, throwing stars and belt, Snake Eyes is not fully articulated but is its sheer bulk allows it to pose easily, especially for smaller hands.
Push the dog tags on Shake Eyes' chest and he makes some funky kung fu music sounds while pushing the lever on his back causes his right arm to swing up accompanied by fighting sounds.  His face visor also lights up.
Two 3 1/2 inch figures taken from the movie include Storm Shadow dressed in white with swords, knives, hover board and nanobite weapon launcher.  He is fully-articulated, easy to pose and has no problem holding his arsenal of weapons.  Snake Eyes is dressed in solid black, comes with a sword and scabbard, automatic rifle, knife, handgun and attack dog.  He too is fully-articulated and like Storm Shadow is tightly sculpted, features clean paint application with no slop-over and looks as if he is dressed in real cloth due to his clever sculpting.
Slashin' Action Wolverine is in the same cartoon style as the Snake Eyes Tough Trooper figures with roughly the same degree of articulation.  However, Wolverine has a right slashing arm that activates by a button on his back,  his right hand claws also pop out when a button on his lower arm is pressed.  A slashing sound is also activated.  Press his belt buckle and he spouts numerous famous Wolverine phrases.  Twist and release his waist and he performs a spring-loaded attack.  "Back off bub!"  Wolverine comes dressed in gray boots, blue jeans and his trademark yellow and black shirt.
Another large figure is the Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Megatron Decepticon figure.  This monster of a machine is partially articulated and looks exactly like the movie Megatron.  He transforms into a Alien Tank with a firing fusion cannon that lights up.  In robot mode he has a flip-out sword and light up eyes and chest with moving chest pieces.  His head also turns left to right.  This is an awesome figure and it easily transforms thus giving it a higher fun factor for young children. 
Another Transformers fun item is the Bumblebee Voice Mixer helmet.  Don the helmet that looks like Bumblebee, peer through its blue visor and activate the three buttons on its side for various Bumblebee sounds and voices.  Go for conversion mode, battle phrases and voice mixer that allows you to remix your voice in six different music styles.  "Go Transformers!"
The Ironman Torpedo Armor is a metallic blue with deep gray under armor.  The figure comes with a torpedo launcher and three torpedoes.  The figure is fully-articulated. tightly sculpted is just plain fun to play with.